(House of Representatives - June 27, 2013)

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[Page H4084]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Fleischmann) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. FLEISCHMANN. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honor my father, Max 
Fleischmann, Jr.
  My dad passed away last Saturday. We buried him Monday in the 
National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I wanted to talk to 
America today about a very special man.
  My dad was born in Astoria, New York, on December 29, 1925. He grew 
up during the Great Depression. His stories were legend. He talked to 
me about dime movies and penny candy, about radio, about what it was 
like to grow up in the Great Depression when his father had to take in 
other families to live with them. This generation was coined, later, as 
the Greatest Generation, and now I know why.
  He would have folks come and visit the house. A fellow by the name of 
Moe Howard and his wife, Helen, would come by and sing and play the 
piano. Moe Howard was playing with a little-known group then called The 
Three Stooges. He would have a lady by the name of Gladys Weiss come 
and visit their home. Her late brother was a magician, an escape artist 
who had been deceased, called Harry Houdini. These stories were 
tremendous. He talked to me about his first Coca-Cola at the 1939 
World's Fair and what it was like to drink that.
  He was an incredible man. He had one good eye. He stood 5 feet, 2\1/
2\ inches. He took 7 years to graduate from high school because he quit 
high school to join World War II.
  When he showed up to serve in the United States Army, they said, 
Young man, you can go home. You're what we call 4-F. You've got one 
good eye. You've got poor skin. You're short. You can go home. He said, 
No, I want to serve; I want to serve.
  And serve he did. They let him serve. And he went to the China-Burma-
India theater. He didn't even know a war was going on in that part of 
the world because his brother was serving in the South Pacific and he 
had cousins serving in Europe. But he was 18 years old, and he went on 
a ship and on a plane and on a train and ended up in Burma. Over 2\1/2\ 
years later, he returned home and he went and finished high school.
  My dad was a hardworking man, a company man. He always showed up and 
gave 100 percent wherever he worked. But he had a lot of hard work and 
he had a lot of hard luck. Sometimes these companies would go out of 
business that he worked at.
  He did not have a formal education. An education was something that 
stood out to him.

                              {time}  1010

  And the reason I say that is in honoring him today I wanted to talk 
about the importance of education. I was the first person to get to go 
to college in my family. He married my mother in 1961. I was born in 
1962. But tragically, when I was 9 years old, an only child, my mother 
got cancer and passed away a few years later. She lost that tragic 
battle. There were times he had no health insurance, there were times 
he didn't have a job. He would go all over the country--New York, 
Philadelphia, Chicago.
  But one thing he insisted on. He said: ``My son is going to get an 
education.'' That was so important. And I did. He put 20 bucks away a 
week so that I could have an education. I got to go to the University 
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  But we didn't know that was not going to be the end of the story. 
Because when I finished up at Illinois he said: ``What are you going to 
do?'' He said: ``You're bright, you have an education, but what are you 
going to do?'' So he said: ``Go to law school.'' He helped me through 
law school and paid for law school too. He got to see me get a college 
education and get a law degree.
  He had a lot of hard luck, but he always worked hard and he made a 
great decision. He retired to Chattanooga, Tennessee. When he retired 
to Chattanooga, my wife and I started a law firm. In that law firm, we 
succeeded as a small business. He saw me scrimp and save and work hard 
6 and 7 days a week. He always said: ``Work hard, make sure your kids 
get a good education.'' He did that.
  He was a big part in the life of my three sons, Chuckie, Jamie, and 
Jeffrey. They're 24, 22, and 16 now. They honored him this week with me 
at the National Cemetery. What a man. He loved this country, he served 
this country, he never forgot the Greatest Generation who gave so much 
for this country, and he was a good guy. He was honest to the core.
  He got to live to see me elected to this great House. Sometimes we 
get ratings 6 percent, 10 percent, 11 percent. He loved to watch this 
House. He really liked it when I got to sit in the Chair. He would call 
all the relatives: ``My son is presiding over the House today.'' But 
ladies and gentlemen, we have a great country, a wonderful country. He 
knew that. Only in America could you do something like this--come from 
last to first.
  So I just wanted to say today: Thank you to my dad. Staff Sergeant 
Max Fleischmann, Jr., you did well. God bless you.